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Snitchin' in the Kitchen

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Benjamin D. Taylor

Benjamin Dean Taylor

General Info

Year: 2020
Duration: c. 4:30
Difficulty: III-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Benjamin Taylor Music
Cost: Score and Parts (digital) - $95.00

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Part 1

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • Violin

Part 2

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • Horn in F
  • Violin
  • Viola

Part 3

  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Cello

Part 4

  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone
  • Tuba
  • String Bass

Timpani (optional)


This work does not utilize traditional percussion instruments. Rather, percussionists are asked to choose sounds from “found objects” in the kitchen: one representing a snare drum, one representing a bass drum, one representing a hi-hat or shaker.

Electronic audio track


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

My brother Josh has autism and normally can’t go to many concerts of my music due to his lack of understanding of social etiquette (when to clap, not to talk during a performance, etc.). But he loves music. I choose to write this piece especially for him and have it be inspired by some of his favorite things.

Josh loves to make brownies, and is known to snitch large amounts of the brownie batter before it actually makes it into the baking pan! (He also has a fascination with light switches, which is why they play a prominent role in this piece). But Josh isn’t the only one who likes to snitch while working in the kitchen: we all love to snitch! Whether making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and taking a little snitch of peanut butter, or making chocolate chip cookies, snitching a bit of the batter is part of the fun!

This piece is designed to be a fun celebration of our differences and gives creative freedom to the performers for many aspects of the music as well as the choreography, visuals, props, costumes, acting and more.

- Program Note by composer

When the COVID-19 pandemic first started and everything shut down, I was beyond deflated because all of my upcoming concerts and premieres were canceled. My artistic output totally ground to a halt. I couldn’t write music. After weeks of stagnation, I finally decided that I was sick of feeling like I was in “pause” mode. I decided that I would change the paradigm; if I couldn’t make music in person, I would explore creative ways that I could make music virtually. This is one of the works that was a result of that paradigm shift. And I’m calling it that because up until recently, I had always thought of virtual music performances as significantly subpar to in-person concerts. I think we can all agree that while Eric Whitacre’s virtual choir videos are cool, they are still not as cool as hearing a choir sing that same piece in person. Needless to say, there are definite huge advantages to making music in person rather than virtually. But what about the flip side? What advantages are there to making music virtually that we can’t do in person? What can I do in a virtual performance space that I can’t do in a normal concert hall? I quickly realized that to fully take advantage of the virtual performance space, the performance video had to be much more than watching a bunch of people play their clarinet recorded in their bedroom. Rather, a virtual performance has to incorporate visuals, props, acting, lighting, choreography, etc., to be all it can be, and to make it a distinct performance category. This piece as it currently exists can’t be successfully performed in a concert hall. It wouldn’t work. Sure, the music could be performed, but it wouldn’t be nearly as compelling and interesting without the extra-musical aspects. Ultimately, I choose to see possibilities where others saw only limitations. As Stravinsky famously said, “the more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self to the chains that shackle the spirit.”

I invite you to join me in flipping the paradigm. There is no need to feel that we are just sitting waiting for a vaccine before we can make music again. Now, more than ever, we need to experience the healing power of music. We need music to bring us together as a community and society. We need to show the rising generation of music makers that we can adapt and pivot. We don’t have to sit idly by wishing for the old days and complaining about all the things we have no power to change. Let’s empower the rising generation to change the old models of large ensemble music making. I add my voice to others -- we can still make music that is meaningful, engaging, compelling and relevant. I’m certainly not saying that virtual music making is better than live, in-person music making. But until we can return to that way of making music, let’s continue to be creative and make wonderful music virtually.

Commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University

Written for and premiered by Symphonic Youth Orchestra of Greater Indianapolis, Shawn Goodman, conductor.

- Program Note from score

Performance Notes

Snitchin’ in the Kitchen is way more than your typical large ensemble piece and thus requires significant advance setup. This work was written specifically for virtual rehearsal and performance and thus includes many non-musical instructions to ensure that the final video recording is as compelling and fun as possible. The final performance will be individual video recordings of the performers amalgamated together into one video. Eric Whitacre’s virtual choir videos are a great example. However, the video for Snitchin’ in the Kitchen will be significantly different in that it incorporates visual elements such that it is more like a music video.

[Editor note: Extensive setup instructions for individual musicians are included in the score.]


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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